treeLeading power supply manufacturer PULS UK has claimed that cheap inefficient power supplies, often used in everyday household and office electrical equipment, are wasting energy and increasing carbon emissions.

So, what is a power supply and why are they so important?

Without going into too much technical detail, a power supply is a device that sits hidden away inside a computer, TV set, industrial machinery, even your Christmas lights, and converts the mains AC power into DC power suitable for powering the equipment involved. As with all things there are wide variations in the quality of power supplies and in many cases an excessive amount of energy is lost during the conversion process, often greater than 25%.

To put this into context, let’s assume energy costs are 10p per KWh (kilowatt hour) and we are using a computer with a 1000W (1KW) power supply. If the power supply is only 80% efficient this would mean a wastage of 250W, whereas a top quality unit delivering 96% efficiency would lose only 52W, equating to a whopping £174 a year saving and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

Harry Moore, PULS UK’s Managing Director said, “It seems crazy with all the talk about reducing carbon emissions that the government and the EU is not encouraging manufacturers to specify high-efficiency power supplies when they design new electrical equipment. We’re all being told to use low-energy light bulbs and to insulate our lofts, but the public are oblivious to the energy they’re wasting whenever they watch TV or use an electrical appliance that’s fitted with an inefficient power supply.”

As well as wasting less energy, high-quality power supplies are more reliable and last longer than their cheaper alternatives, so the lifetime cost of using them is actually lower. Power supply failure often results in otherwise serviceable equipment being scrapped prematurely causing unnecessary expense and a further waste of energy and resources.

Sadly, with manufacturers constantly looking to reduce up-front costs it is unlikely that we will see a universal change to high efficiency power supplies any time soon; unless, that is, the government makes it worth their while by offering tax breaks or other incentives.

Perhaps like most other people who are not in the business, the politicians are simply unaware of how important these unsung devices are to the future of the planet, after all, there are not too many electrical engineers sitting in the House of Commons.


Ellie Jones

Tel: +44 (0) 330 999 9988


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